As requested a long time back, I’m beginning to read An Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. This is a very interesting advice book on how to live a life of more devoted love of God, no matter what you do for a living and no matter how much time you have available. Popular with Protestants as well as Catholics, this is a real classic and has been translated into tons of languages over the last few centuries.
St. Francis de Sales was one of the lucky guys picked to go into Calvin Country and evangelize people back to Catholicism, while trying not to get killed. What fun! Well, if you were St. Francis de Sales, it was. He was one of those people who are almost ludicrously perky and happy in their work (after a miraculous conversion from despair and becoming a lawyer, so don’t hate him). He’s also a heck of a writer, and was made a patron saint of writers and journalists.
I know I usually advise people to read the introductions and forewords and prefaces last, because they’re usually boring or contain spoilers. But this preface is actually interesting and useful, and was written by the author — so it’s the exception.